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USDA Chemist Elected to National Academy of SciencesBy Tara Weaver
May 5, 1997
U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist James H. Tumlinson has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences. Election to NAS is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist or engineer can receive.
A research chemist with USDAs Agricultural Research Service in Gainesville, Fla., Tumlinson is one of 60 new members and 15 foreign associates from 11 countries elected to the Academy for distinguished and continuing achievements in research.
The newly elected members were announced at the 134th annual meeting of the Academy in April. Their election brings the total number of current active NAS members to 1,773.
Tumlinson is research leader of the Insect Chemistry Research Unit at the agencys Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology. His scientific accomplishments include discovery of a natural substance that attracts boll weevils, a major pest of cotton. The substance, called a pheromone, is now used in traps to detect and catch boll weevils.
Tumlinson isolated, identified and artificially reproduced each of the four chemical blends that together make up the pheromone. This environmentally friendly chemical attractant played a key role in a boll weevil eradication program in the southeastern United States.
Tumlinson also has identified chemical attractants for Japanese beetles, corn earworm and fall armyworm moths, corn rootworms, peachtree and lesser peachtree borers and other insects. He has written more than 200 scientific papers in his 30-year career in insect chemistry research.
Tumlinson recently received a USDA award for personal and professional excellence. In 1996, he was elected a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America. Tumlinson is vice president-elect of the International Society of Chemical Ecology.